A tummy tuck at our Calgary practice is a popular and effective surgery for individuals who want firm, flat, midsections, especially after significant weight loss or pregnancy have overstretched the skin and muscles in this area. Diet and exercise are normally recommended to reduce fat and improve muscle tone, however, sagging skin, stubborn pockets of fat, and separated rectus abdominis muscles require surgical correction. Our Royal College-certified plastic surgeons use their experience and skills to tailor tummy tuck procedures, technically called abdominoplasty, to the unique needs of each patient, so you achieve the results you desire.
To visit our practice in Calgary and learn more about tummy tuck surgery, request a consultation online to meet privately with one of our plastic surgeons, or call our office at (403) 452-7953 to schedule an appointment.
While tummy tuck surgery may involve removing residual fat from the midsection, its primary goals are to remove excess, sagging skin and tighten separated abdominal muscles. If your primary concern is excess fat in the torso or abdomen, liposuction may be a better option for you.
Good candidates for a tummy tuck include:
A tummy tuck is not a weight-loss surgery, nor is it appropriate for individuals who intend to lose weight in the future. In order to undergo tummy tuck surgery, you should be in good overall health and must demonstrate that you can maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).
Our surgeons customize tummy tuck surgery to meet the personal needs of each patient. Your surgeon will recommend a specific surgical plan after evaluating your physical characteristics and discussing your aesthetic goals. Generally, our surgeons perform either a full or a limited (mini) abdominoplasty.
In a full tummy tuck, the surgeon makes one horizontal incision just above the pubic area, spanning from hipbone to hipbone. Our surgeons make the incision as low as possible so it's concealed by your underwear or a bikini. The surgeon elevates the skin, exposing the abdominal muscles and allowing him to repair the diastasis rectus to tighten and slim the midsection. Your surgeon will remove excess skin and possibly use liposuction to further refine the area.
Some individuals require correction only of those areas below the navel. In these cases our surgeons may recommend a limited, or mini-tummy tuck. This operation is similar to a full abdominoplasty, with the primary differences being that the incision is shorter and the surgeon removes excess skin below the navel only. The belly button is not re-positioned, but may be reshaped as the skin is stretched.
As with a full tummy tuck, your surgeon may use liposuction to remove excess fat and contour the final results.
Tummy tuck is an outpatient procedure, performed at Macleod Trail Surgical Centre, our state-of-the-art, fully accredited, private surgical suite. The surgery typically takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on the extent of correction required. After you've recovered from the general anesthesia – typically 2 hours after surgery – you will be discharged to the care of a friend or loved one, who should stay with you overnight. You will receive detailed post-op instructions to make your recovery as comfortable as possible. You will be instructed on how to care for and monitor the surgical drains that will be left in place to prevent fluid build up. These are typically removed within the first week.
Everyone's experience is different, but in general, tummy tuck patients take about 2 weeks off from work in order to get their healing well underway. You will wear a compression garment for several weeks for support and to help with healing, and you will be advised to keep your activity level light to moderate. Your surgeon will advise you as to when you can resume exercise and other more strenuous activities.
We encourage communication with our office in order to maximize comfort and clarify any uncertainties.
As its name suggests, a mini-tummy tuck is best for patients who have only a limited presence of excess skin. A mini-tummy tuck will only correct for excess skin that is present below the navel.
A frequent follow-up question to this is, "Can I begin with a mini-tummy tuck and progress to a full abdominoplasty later?" Unfortunately, skin laxity is a problem that does not lend itself well to partial resolution. If more excess skin is present than can be properly removed via a mini-tummy tuck, the only effective option is a full abdominoplasty.
The degree of scarring will vary depending on whether you undergo a full tummy tuck or a mini-tummy tuck. In a full procedure, the scar will span the area between your hip bones, but is made low enough to be concealed by underwear or a swimsuit. There is also a well-concealed scar around the navel. A mini-tummy tuck has a shorter scar above the pubic area and no incision is made in the navel.
In either case, the scar takes up to 1 year to fully fade and mature. If you are particularly concerned about scarring, please broach the subject during your consultation, as we can recommend a few strategies for minimizing your scar as it heals.
Future pregnancy can lead to sagging skin and separation of the abdominal muscles. In essence, becoming pregnant could very well undo the results from the procedure. We always strongly counsel our patients to wait for their tummy tuck surgery until they are certain that they do not want to have any more children.
Certainly. Tummy tuck can be part of any larger body contouring or fat reduction surgical plan. For the best possible result, our surgeons often perform liposuction with a tummy tuck. The procedure is perhaps most frequently combined with breast enhancement, in what is commonly called a mommy makeover.
With every patient, our surgeons need to perform an in-person examination to determine an individualized surgical plan. The many variables of each case (e.g., extent of loose skin, length of procedure, anesthesia fees, etc.) make it difficult to quote a price prior to meeting with our patients. During your consultation, we will present you with a detailed pricing breakdown.